Amid all those visual grandeur and glimpses of great acting in the Thangalaan teaser, you may have not paid attention to the story and other plot details.
If the 90-second teaser of Thangalaan is anything to go by, Tamil superstar Vikram is likely to captivate us with a fantastic performance. He never shied away from demanding roles, especially those requiring significant physical transformations.
From Anniyan or I, Vikram has consistently pushed the limits of physical acting. It's been a long time since Vikram did something out of the ordinary. It's not because he wasn't up for it, but because there seemed to be a shortage of filmmakers with stories that could harness his immense acting talent.
"He (Vikram) is a very artistic actor and I can't see him in commercial movies," said director Pa Ranjith at the Thangalaan trailer launch event earlier.
And Ranjith seems to have whipped up an epic narrative that will satisfy Vikram's large appetite for nuanced acting.
Amid all those visual grandeur and glimpses of great acting, you may have not paid attention to the story and other plot details. So here are the four important takeaways from the teaser.
Sparta like warrior tribe
Thangalaan seems to primarily revolve around a Sparta-like warrior tribe. It's like everyone in the tribe is a great warrior. And Vikram plays the head of the tribe, showing off numerous battle scars like badges of honour. The teaser begins with Thangalaan's tribe coming under attack from a rival army. And despite being outnumbered, Thangalaan's warriors seem more than capable of defeating their enemies. War appears to be their way of life.
Not much of a talker
One of the intriguing aspects of the Thangalaan teaser is the complete absence of spoken dialogue. Much like in the film Pithamagan, Vikram's character seems to have few spoken lines in Thangalaan. It seems he has to emote all his thoughts through nuanced acting. It was as if playing an ancient village gurdian wasn't challenging enough. Vikram revealed that Thangalaan took him out of his comfort zone for various reasons. He revealed that he was used to dubbing for movies in post-production. For the first time, he was required to perform with sync sound, presenting new challenges for the seasoned actor.
Does it remind you of a Hollywood movie?
Following the release of the teaser, many noted that the production value of Thangalaan is on par with Hollywood standards. But, for some, the teaser reminded them of other Hollywood movies. Did Ranjith take inspiration from Apocalypto? In this case, we can also say that the movie's plot shares similarities with James Cameron's Avatar, which also tells the tale of indigenous people battling the forces of imperialism.
Based on the teaser, Thangalaan revolves around the battle over the control of Kolar gold fields. The tribe of Thangalaan seem to inhabit the lands that hold treasure underneath. It attracts the British rulers who try to subjugate the indigenous people and take over their precious lands. As always the battle for freedom against oppression begins. But, before the full-fledged war, the British invaders seemed to use their favourite trick from the dictator's playbook: divide and rule. The teaser hints at a familiar colonial tactic as we see Thangalaan fighting his own tribesmen. While Ranjith promises to shine a light on the cruelty of the British forces, he also seems to examine the faultlines and internal divisions among the indigenous population, which ultimately played into the hands of the enemy.